Won’t Stop, Can’t Stop, It’s Kpop
It’s no secret that Kpop is making some serious waves overseas.
- An appearance on the Letterman Show (Girls’ Generation).
- A sold out concert in Paris (SM Town).
- Climbing the international billboard charts (EXO-K, Shinee, et. al)
- Picking up the “World Wide Act” award at MTV’s European Music Awards, followed by being the first Asian artists to win the category for best fan of the 2012 MTV TRL Awards in Italy (Big Bang)
- Collaborating across countries (Tasha, Tiger JK featured on Far East Movement’s song / Wonder Girls headlining for the Jonas Brothers / Will.i.am producing tracks for 2ne1)
The list goes on.
Photo Credit: Wordans
While many Kpop artists go abroad to greet their fans around the world, many of these fans are now coming to their homeground.
Arirang TV, an English-language channel in Korea, and Caracol TV, a broadcaster in Colombia, teamed up to produce a Kpop audition show called “Kpop Reality” in Colombia.
Photo Credit: Caracol TV
It was the first such show created by a Korean and foreign broadcaster in a country outside of Korea.
Around 2,000 contestants auditioned and six winners were selected for a free a trip to Korea and a chance to perform on “Simply Kpop” on Arirang TV. As part of the prize, winners met K-pop stars like U-Kiss and EXO-K and experienced Korean culture. The team will also make an official debut that will kick off with a national tour in Colombia.
On the other side of the world in France, a Kpop club called “Korean Connection” now has 6,000 members. Around 64 members of the group recently visited Korea and held a short Kpop dance performance at the Korea Tourism Organization’s headquarters. Many of the members said they first came to know Kpop through the Internet, by watching clips on YouTube.
Photo Credit: Han Cinema
My personal favorite Kpop group, 2ne1, flew to the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France to present a session titled “Korean Wave through the Digital Wave,” to talk about how the power of social media has helped to take down borders in music.
Also present at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival were prominent figures including former President of the United States Bill Clinton, London Olympics organizing committee Chairperson Sebastian Coe, WPP President Martin Sorrell, and Sex and the City producer Michael Patrick King.
Though not a Kpop act, I’ll borrow (and slightly amend) a line from fellow Philadelphians and rap duo Young Gunz to eloquently sum up this music movement:
“Can’t stop, won’t stop, [Kpop] ‘cause we, we, get down baby, we get down baby.”